Wednesday 18 September 2019

Sharon Hearne-Smith's Pulled Pork Asian Lettuce Cups

To celebrate Bloom festival, we have three flavoursome recipes sure to spice up your summer

Sharon Hearne Smith's pulled pork lettuce cups
Sharon Hearne Smith's pulled pork lettuce cups

With the summer months comes an appetite for dishes that are quick to make, lighter to eat, and are perfect for enjoying al fresco. Here, food stylist Sharon Hearne-Smith brings you a tasty option to add to your repertoire.

Sharon will be among the line-up of cooks giving food talks and recipe demonstrations on the Quality Kitchen stage at the Bloom festival, which begins at Dublin's Phoenix Park this Thursday.

The festival's Food Village will also feature Irish food producers, a Grow It Yourself Zone and a Sustainable Seafood Garden.

Sharon Hearne-Smith's Pulled Pork Asian Lettuce Cups

Sharon Hearne Smith's pulled pork lettuce cups

Although this recipe calls for succulent, slow-cooked pulled pork, there's no need to wait around for hours of cooking since these days it's available ready-to-use from supermarkets. If your pulled pork doesn't come with its own sachet of sauce, then use 50g of any sweet or hot chilli sauce. These filled lettuce cups work well for parties, picnics or in a lunchbox.

Serves 2


1 x 250g packet pulled pork, finely chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

Large handful of fresh coriander leaves

2 large, crisp, iceberg lettuce leaves, or 4 smaller inner leaves, or 8 Little Gem leaves

50g beansprouts

2 handfuls prawn crackers

25g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

1 red chilli, finely sliced, deseeded if you prefer less heat (optional)

1 lime

For the dressing:

50g sachet of chilli sauce (from pulled pork packet), or any hot or sweet chilli sauce

Juice of 2 limes

Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1 tsp fish sauce


1 To make the dressing, pour the sachet of chilli sauce into a medium bowl and add the lime juice, ginger, garlic and fish sauce. Give everything a good stir together. Spoon a tablespoon of the dressing into each of two tiny serving bowls and set aside.

2 Add the pulled pork and spring onions to the remaining sauce in the main bowl. Finely chop half the coriander, add to the bowl and toss everything until evenly coated. Slice the lettuce leaves in half if large and divide them evenly between two serving plates. Spoon the pork mixture into the lettuce cups and place a little pile of bean sprouts on top of each one. Pile some prawn crackers beside them.

3 Sprinkle the peanuts over the top. Scatter with the chilli and remaining coriander leaves. Cut the lime into wedges and arrange two on each plate with a little dish of the reserved sauce for drizzling, and serve.


Fiona Uyema's Lamb Kofta Kebabs

Lamb kofta kebabs by Fiona Uyema

I love to season lamb with shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice). This wonderful collection of seven spices adds an interesting dimension to the taste of lamb and also adds a nutritional explosion, with each spice boasting different health benefits. You can buy shichimi togarshi in Asian speciality stores and in some larger supermarkets.

Makes 8 skewers


500g good quality lamb, minced

1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced

Bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp shichimi togarashi

Salt and pepper to season

Rapeseed oil

8 skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes

For the yoghurt and mint dip:

5 tbsp natural yoghurt

Bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tsp lime juice

Zest of ½ lime

1 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to season


1 Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and add the diced onion. Slowly cook the onion, allowing it to sweat, and then fry until translucent (do not brown). Remove from the heat and let it cool.

2 In a large bowl mix together the minced lamb, parsley, shichimi togarashi and onion. Season with salt and pepper.

3 With dampened hands, take a handful of meat and using a firm hand form a rectangular shape. Push a skewer through the meat.

4 Place under a grill on a high heat for 10 to 20 minutes (or until cooked to your liking). Place a cup of water on the base of the grill to stop the meat drying out.

5 Mix all the ingredients for the dip together in a bowl and serve on the side.

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